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Location

16 villages in the Korba & Kartala block of Korba district, Chhattisgarh
Thematic Focus: Education, Nutrition


Project Background

Gram Mitra or GMSSS was registered in 1999. It has been dedicated to work for the rights of tribal and dalit children, advocate for issues of livelihoods, Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) for strengthened community governance and forest rights. Mr. Babubhai Srivas, the former project holder of Gram Mitra has done his Masters in Social Work and has been working for socially and economically backward communities such as dalit and Adivasi communities for several years. Since 2015, Muniv Shukla has been leading the organization and currently he is the Project holder. The organization is working in Chhattisgarh to ensure the educational rights of the tribes (Pahadi Korwa, Birhor, Kawar and Majwar community) and dalit children are secured and the resources of livelihoods of their families are protected. The organization was named as ‘Gram Mitra’ means “Friend of Village”, in the hope that it would help build a strong community of people who have otherwise been excluded from mainstream society and social welfare programs. The team in Gram Mitra believes in and follows the motto of ‘Sangathan mein Shakti’ i.e. ‘Strength in cooperation’. The organization aims to preserve their culture and heritage and empower the dalits and tribes with focus on women and children.

Problem Statement:


Gram Mitra as a CRY partner intervenes in the villages of Korba and Kartala Tehsil in the Korba district. The situation of education in the project area is characterized by low levels of enrollment and retention of tribal children especially Pahadi Korba and Bihor tribes. This poor status quo owes its genesis to poor infrastructure, lack of quality teaching and learning, poor attendance of teachers, lack of subject wise teachers, gap between vernacular languages spoken by small population groups and teaching in the state official language, SMC (School Management Committee) not functioning as prescribed in the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act - 2009, lack of monitoring of the functioning of teaching. Children are forced to drop out of school due to the lack of government school after Grade 8 and lack of transport facilities, especially for girls. The boys fall victim to child labor and addiction, which further gets compounded by low level of awareness among parents for the need and benefits of education for their children, as they themselves are not educated. The economic poverty has also been creating a barrier for children accessing from alternate sources. Children are unable to access education also because of social taboos around immediate economic utility such as, boys once educated stop working in agricultural fields and girls anyway have to look after their family after getting married.

The situation of health and nutrition among tribal children in the project area is poor due to lack of proper health service centers and poor functioning of ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) Anganwadi centers and NRCs (Nutritional Rehabilitation Centers), coupled with lack of colostrum feeding practices immediately after birth, many superstitions among Pahadi Korba, Bihor and other tribes on immunization, lack of balanced dietary foods within the family and lack of awareness among the community on the significance of spacing between births. All these, coupled with low awareness regarding roles and responsibilities among local governance bodies, are contributing to severe malnutrition among children in 0 - 5 years age group. Developing a complete intervention plan is also facing the challenge of data gaps as there is no institutionalized system for hemoglobin / anemia examinations among children and adolescents.
The project is thus working with the objective of ensuring 100% enrollment and retention of children in primary and middle schools (for children 6-14 years old) and 100% enrollment of children in secondary school (15-18 years old). The project is also focused on strengthening implementation of RTE Act 2009 in 16 project villages. The other areas of focus are ensuring activation of ICDS Anganwadi centers for the six services (supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-ups, referral services, pre-school education, and nutrition & health education) and ensuring reduction in malnutrition in the project villages.

Achievements & Impact


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Strengthen access to quality educational services through strengthening School Management Committee (SMC)s, Community Based Organizers (CBO)s and community engagements

• 288 SMC members to be sensitized through conducting orientations on their role and responsibility.
• 114 SMC meetings to be organized by the members, organizing at least one meeting every two months in all schools in the project area and documenting the same.
• 192 meetings to be organized by the children collectives and 192 by adolescent collectives to strengthen school engagements.
• 192 meetings to be organized by the Community based organisers (CBOs)

• The SMC could organize meetings from April 2020 due to Covid. SMC members have helped in monitoring and registration of children through Mohalla/ online classes. However, due to Covid, in later part of the year, there have only been 50% of the meetings that were done.
• However, since October-November 2020 when the lockdown relaxation started to happen and also the situation improved, GMSSS started doing community work like SMC members’ training on RTE as well as SDP by following social distancing norms. 14 SMC members participated in this meeting.
• 16 children groups have conducted 79 meetings during the period. Less meetings were conducted due to lockdown and Covid situation and the meetings were conducted as per social distancing norms where 246 children participated and the agenda was mainly awareness on Covid and linkage through online/ Mohalla classes.
• 244 adolescents participated in 29 meetings conducted by 16 groups. Adolescent girls’ group from the Achimar village has motivated other girls to take the hemoglobin (Hb) test and helped 30 girls test for Hb. No cases of anemia were found.
• 160 members in 16 CBOs played a very important role in Covid relief ensuring that every HH received PDS and school children MDM and AWC children THR/ ready to eat.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Key Result Area: 100% enrollment, transition and retention in pre-school centers and schools through individual child tracking and interfaces with teachers and educational administrators.

• Track 308+ new children in the age-group of 3-6 years old to ensure they are attending pre-school in the project area.
• Tracking of 144 children in pre-school Anganwadis and ensure their enrollment in school by mid August’20.
• Ensure 60 children in 6-18 years old age-group presently in remedial classes enrolled in school.

• 100% of children were tracked and registered in Anganwadi centers during the period. However due to the Covid situation, Anganwadi Centers (AWC) are closed for children studies and no child is going to AWC for study purposes.
• 100% of children (144: 79 boys & 65 girls) phasing out from AWC were transited to standard I; their registration has been done, currently schools are closed.
• 981 children (494 boys & 487 girls) out of 990 children (6-14 years old) are registered in school (99% enrollment ensured). Schools are closed but partners have tried to enroll them through Mohalla/ online classes.

• Ensure 10 children (and any other children further identified) in the age group of 15 - 18 years old are profiled and assisted in registering in vocational training.
• Child tracking is strengthened to ensure any dropped out or never been to school children are identified and promptly supported so that they are mainstreamed.
• Tracking children in the terminal standards across school hierarchy from primary to middle, high school and senior secondary to ensure their transition and enrollment to the next grade.
• Ensure 92 children clear 10th Grade board exams and 39 children clear 12th Grade board exams.

• 369 children (175 boys & 194 girls) out of 429 children (15-18 years old) have been enrolled in schools. (86% enrollment). Schools are closed but the partner has tried to enroll them through Mohalla/ online classes.
• 710 children (6-18 years old) have been linked with Mohalla classes during the pandemic since schools are closed due to Covid.
• 134 children who were in Grade 5 last year have been promoted and registered in Grade 6 but since schools are closed are continuing their studies through online/ Mohalla classes.
• 73 out of 92 children who appeared for Grade 10 exams this year have passed (80%).
• 73 children who have passed Grade 10 have been transited to Grade 11.
• 37 out of 39 children who appeared in Grade 12 exams this year have passed (94% passing). Out of 37 children who have passed Grade 12, 20 have taken admission to college.
• All 15 National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) children from last year whose exams were postponed and whose exams happened in July-August this year, have appeared for the exams and passed.
• 3 adolescent girls from the Achimar village have been linked through computer courses under Kaushal Vikas Yojna (Skills Development Scheme).
• 500 children were supported by GMSSS staff members in association with SMC members for getting direct cash transfers in their account regarding scholarship for books.
• (NTFP) work and received 20 days’ work each.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Key Result Area: Strengthen demands and access to quality health and nutritional services.

• Ensure all mothers of children aged 0-36 months old attend at least one Village Health Nutrition Days (VHNDs) during every quarter.
• Conduct 64 meetings with mothers’ groups organized on child feeding and nutrition.
• Ensure 100% of Health Centers have complete staffing as per IPHS norms.
• 100% of Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children referred to Nutrition and Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) by ICDS workers.
• 100% of ICDS with functional weighing machines for infants and kids

• 16 mahila mandals have conducted 31 meetings. Meetings were conducted less due to the lockdown and Covid situation and those which were conducted were done as per social distancing norms where 289 women participated and agenda was mainly awareness on Covid and linkage through online/ mohalla classes and also distribution of PDS, benefits of immunizations, kitchen garden benefits for children and pregnant women, etc.
• The project through liaison could ensure all 3 Primary Health Centers (PHC) and 1 Community Health Center (CHC) has adequate staff as per Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms. Regularf doctor attendance and ANM in PHCs was the issue. GMSSS staff have discussed the attendance issue of ANMs and doctors with the Block Development Officer (BDO).
• 56 out of 126 children aged 0-1 years old were completely immunized during Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND).
• 40 out of 50 pregnant women have received vaccines (TT1&TT2) during Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND).
• 49 pregnant and 63 lactating women have planted kitchen gardens in their home. Food diaries were made for all 83 mothers so far.
• 5 SAM children were referred to NRC in August and in September all 3 children showed improvement and all 5 were transited to MAM and discharged from NRC.


• 5 children transited from Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) to Moderately Acute Malnourished (MAM) and 34 children transited from MAM to normal due to follow-ups in VHND, home visits of malnourished children and also at Nutrition and Rehabilitation Center (NRC).
• 3 Anganwadi Centers (AWC) are being equipped with infant meters initially due to regular follow-up by GMSSS. By the end of the period, 17 AWCs had all three types of weighing machines. Also height meters were provided at all 22 AWCs by the government.

Prominent Activities during the period:


Opening up of new AWC and School in PTG dominated area (Sardih Village) Sardih is a highly remote village situated in a very rugged terrain approximately 50 km from the Kartala block headquarters of Korba District, Chhattisgarh. The village is surrounded by dense forest and is almost cut off from the main road connecting with the block headquarters. The village and main road is divided by a small river. 26 households and around 120 people residing in the village get almost cut off from main road during the rainy season and children (around 30) are forced to travel to nearby Bagdaridand village for education in AWC/ school which are almost 6-7 km walking distance. Almost three years ago GMSSS staff started the process of connecting Sardih with the main road and thereby opening perspective for construction of AWC and school in the village. Villagers passed a resolution and submitted it during ‘Jandarshan’ to the Collector. Much progress could not be observed in the first year. In the second year, GMSSS again submitted an application to the Collector and sub-divisional Magistrate and other block level officials and did proper follow-ups with government officials. Things started to move slowly. Finally, after regular follow ups with the designated authorities, the construction of a bridge was completed and a connecting road was also constructed. This construction has helped around 30 children who now have to cover only 1 to 1.5 kms to go to nearby AWC and school at Bagdaridand. It has also helped pregnant women and lactating women of the project area to access AWC services easily. Another request has been made to the Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) regarding construction of a primary school as well as AWC in the village itself. The construction work will start soon after the pandemic is over.


Activities due to COVID-19 outbreak:


Name of the Institution Type of Support Provided (Capacity Building / Material / Financial/Other) Duration of Support Evidence / signs of change due to support

Ministry of Food (PDS)

Supported state government through supporting block level officials in distribution of essential dry ration supplies to 100% of households in GMSSS area (Around 1,677 households)

From April 2020 to present.

1,677 households received dry rations during the lockdown period of pandemic.

Education Department (MDM)

Supported education department through supporting block level officials in distribution of mid-day meals (MDM) to 100% of children in the GMSSS project area (around 990 school children)

From April to Oct

990 school children received dry rations during the lockdown period of pandemic

Women and Child Department (Ready to eat and take home rations)

Supported ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) system and helped AWW (Anganwadi Center Workers) in distribution of ready to eat and take home rations to 322 AWC children)

From April to Oct

322 children/ mothers received dry rations during the lockdown period of pandemic

Health Department

Approximately 100 migrant laborers and 50 district health officials provided with masks

May 2020

50 health officials (Champa) receiving masks.

Labor Department

Discussion for opening up of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) work in field area for unskilled work by unemployed.

From May to now

During this year, around 377 households have demanded work under MNREGA and each family 30 days of employment i.e. 11,310 workdays of employment.

Tribal Department

Discussion for opening up of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) collection work apart from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MNREGA) work in field area

From May to now

Around 830 households linked with NTFP collection work and received 20 days work each i.e. 16,600 workdays of employment.

Covid Relief work through CRY’s support

Distribution of soaps, sanitary pads and play materials to vulnerable households and children.

From May 2020 to Oct 2020

Through CRY support, GMSSS distributed soaps, sanitary pads and play materials amongs 625 vulnerable households.

Distribution of liquid soaps, hand wash, masks, soaps and sanitary pads to vulnerable households, children and health workers.

From May 2020 to Oct 2020

GMSSS distributed liquid soaps, hand wash, masks, soaps and sanitary pads to vulnerable households and health workers through CRY’s support.

Activities due to COVID-19 outbreak:




Plans:



GMSSS will work towards from following KRAs, outcomes and activities through the next year:

KRA 1: Strengthen access to quality educational services through strengthening SMCs[1], CBOs[2] and community engagements.
• Working with SMC1 on preparation of SDPs[3] for 9 schools
• Working with teachers, SMCs1 and children in publishing children's annual magazines from 3 model schools.
• Organizing summer camps for children to enhance their participation.
• Organizing workshops on use of TLMs[4] in context of ensuring quality education / creative learning for 18 school teachers and SMC1 members of 18 schools.
• Organizing district level consultation on inclusion of 15-18 years old under RTE Act 2009.

KRA 2: 100% enrollment, transition and retention in pre-school centers and schools through individual child tracking and through interface with teachers and educational administrators.
• Work on ensuring dropout enrollment of elementary classes as well as higher classes in schools either through school or open board or online classes
• Ensure proper grade tracking of Grades 5, 8, 10 and 12
• Organizing Anganwadi workers training on ECCE[1] and age specific learning.
• Organizing Pre-Test and Post-Test for assessing age specific learning of 4 model Anganwadi centers.
• Capacity building of partner on quality education and linking them through VIDYA application (Vidya App)
• Doing Covid relief work for Anganwadi children in context of distribution of books.
• Development of quality Teaching Learning Materials for children of 3 model schools.
• Providing support to vulnerable children for enrollment in higher classes through NIOS[2] for at least 20 adolescent girls.
• Conducting perception study to assess the impact of online classes (due to the Covid pandemic) on children in their learning level.
• Organizing Pre-Test and Post-Test for assessing learning level of Grade 3 and Grade 5 children of 3 model schools.



KRA 3: Strengthen demands and access to quality health and nutritional services.
• Organizing social campaign drives to increase awareness on Covid vaccination programs.
• Organizing Training of adolescent girls, CBO2 members, mothers and Anganwadi workers on malnutrition.
• Preparation of field study reports on prevalence of anemia among adolescent girls in the Korba district.
• Conducting a study on budgetary allocations as well as staffing patterns of the last 3 years in both the project area NRCs[3]. (Data collection, preparation of report, its finalization and sharing with health officials, civil surgeon and collector)
• Sensitization programs with the community on health and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women.
• Identification and registration of pregnant women in ICDS center during their first trimester of their pregnancy.
• Awareness generation activities with mothers’ group on health and nutrition related issues of pregnant/lactating women and children.
• Organizing hemoglobin (HB %) testing for adolescent girls and counseling to the identified anemic girls.
• To promote better feeding practices, colostrum feeding, exclusive breastfeeding and institutional delivery.
• Liaison with block/district level health officials for new Health Service Centers (HSC) / Primary Health Centers (PHC) and other health and nutrition related services.
• Linkage of vulnerable families with social security programs.
• Ensure monthly growth monitoring of children in respective Anganwadi centers.

Total amount disbursed in 2020 - 14,032


Financial Summary: January to December 2021


Budget Breakup 2021

Health

526

7%

Nutrition

792

11%

Education

4,079

55%

Participation

489

7%%

Administration

1,518

20%

Total Grant Approved

7,404

100%